HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc576-7
17. Mr. J. Johnson

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that, for the first time, Britain has now ceased to be the main supplier of Portugal; and what action he is taking to encourage the increase of British exports, particularly in motor cars, to this country.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

This was true in 1955, though we have again been in the lead over the first two months of this year. There are no restrictions on the import of cars or of most other British goods into Portugal.

Mr. Johnson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the British colony in Portugal feels that it was let down by the Government when they failed to exhibit at the National Fair in Lisbon this year? Since he was forced to send an exhibit to Damascus, why could not the right hon. Gentleman consider doing the same thing for our oldest ally, Portugal?

Mr. Thorneycroft

We must be guided by the opinion of industry itself as to the value of any particular fair, and it is quite out of the question to try to exhibit at all of them. The fact is that we are in the lead again in the first months of this year, and that market is open. There is no quota restriction and there is no reason why Britain should not sell freely in it.

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